The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behindâ€”a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s. The mystery wasnâ€™t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: Theyâ€™d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doingâ€”â€œan amazing feat,â€ says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.
Itâ€™s just 45 words: â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.â€
So, are we abiding by these 45 words?
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